The reporter's notebook tells the grim story of Wednesday night for the Bruins, the good and the bad of the 5-4 loss to the Lightning at Tampa's St. Pete Times Forum that forced tonight's ultimate nail-biter: Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals at the Garden.

From a B's perspective, it's not a pleasant read. From a terrific first period, after which the B's led 2-1: "B's very strong defensively .?.?. breaking up plays in neutral zone .?.?. pressure forces lots of turnovers and icings .?.?. B's blocking shots and breaking out easily .?.?. D pinching very well .?.?. shot totals very low — good for B's."

But leaf through to later in the game, entirely about the performances of the two teams' power plays: "They (the Bolts) get pucks and bodies to net .?.?. B's mess around with passes around the edge .?.?. Kaberle refuses to shoot .?.?. No Seguin on power play."

That was kind of it in a nutshell for the Bruins, those the two critical elements that will probably decide tonight whether it's the B's or the Bolts who are playing Game 1 of the Stanley Cup finals in Vancouver on Wednesday.

"It's all about one game," said B's captain Zdeno Chara, speaking on the Hanscom Field tarmac yesterday afternoon after the team's charter arrived from Tampa. "I know now it is Game 7, but it's one game. We'll do our best and we'll see."